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The controversial plan to increase building density in the Sawmill Lake area off CR561 has been put off yet again. The developer had postponed an earlier request to the county and returned with a less dense land use proposal.

Local residents had been rallying against the proposal which would have changed the county's land use plan from one home per five acres to four homes per acre. About 70 residents attended the county commission meeting Tuesday morning to protest the plan.

The developer offered to lower the density from 274 homes to 168, but Commissioner Leslie Campione asked for a more conservative plan that would offer lower density and more open space.

County Commissioner Sean Parks asked for an even more conservative plan. He also asked for more details on easements and sewer service.

If approved the development would have mad e a change in the 30 year plan for the area after just a few years. It would have also put an estimated 2,400 additional vehicles per day on CR561 which serves the area.

The developer will now have to return to the commission at a later date with a revised plan. Doug Shields, who led the campaign which greeted 400 emails and the crowd at the commission, followed the meeting with an appeal to the local residents to be ready for that meeting when it comes.

The Board voiced a hope this continuation of the Sawmill Lake application would give both the developer and the surrounding communities a further opportunities to come up with plans they both can live with

For more information go to

Residents successfully rally to put off
density changes to homes in the Sawmill Lake area
Keep Clermont Rural
Over 70 residents turned out to oppose the proposed zoning change for the Sawmill Lake area. Opponents object to the change in the 30 year land use plan previously adopted by the county. (Photo by Stuart Wilson, Mango Tree Arts)

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